Friday, May 31, 2019

Disneyland Entrance Extravaganza

Spurred on by a recent acquisition, I have compiled this post of Disneyland entrance images through the decades, starting off with this 1950's shot. The place looks positively primitive! No attraction posters, little landscaping, and hardly any signage.

June 1960 is a completely different situation. This is the Disneyland most people know!

Except for the prices! Just a little bit cheaper than what you would pay today!

Looks like the attendance number is either 16 or 18 million by this time. Not bad for a place that was destined for failure according to the naysayers.

Rain? In southern California? Yes...sometimes that does occur, as you can see from the damp pavement and apparel of these November 1971 guests.

This November 1978 looks almost apocalyptic; where are the guests? Where are the signs?

Things are back to normal by August, 1986. The park entrance looks like it’s on steroids with all kinds of ornamentation. Makes my eyes hurt.

Jumping forward to 2010, the landscape has grown and the band is out to welcome the guests.

I hope you enjoyed this little journey through time! On a separate note, I was contacted by a couple who recently purchased some "vintage Disneyland" stuff on eBay. The seller told them that he got a lot of things from an elderly couple who did alot of salvage around Disneyland when they renovated several times in the 70s and 80s. Anyone able to identify possible locations of where these pieces came from, if they even came from the Park?

See more Disneyland Entrance photos at my main website.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Carthay Circle, 1949

Built in 1926, the Carthay Circle Theatre was one of the most well-known movie theaters in Hollywood, and the sight of many a glamorous movie premiere. These two vintage images are from August 1949. The theatre marquee is promoting the Cary Grant movie, “I Was A Male War Bride.”

Yes, Cary Grant (with Ann Sheridan) in drag.

Image number two from this set:

Would it surprise you that this glorious piece of architecture was demolished in 1969 for a ho-hum office building? Probably not.

In 2012, Disney California Adventure revealed their “miniature” version of the theatre, reimagined as a high-end dining venue:

See more Movie Palace photos at my main website.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Back to Mt. Rubidoux

Just west of Riverside lies the majestic Mount Rubidoux, where you can get some of the best views of the area below. While the elevation of over 1300 feet might be a challenge for some, it is definitely worth the hike.

There are a number of cool bridges, towers, and hiking paths that date back to the 1920s and 1930s.

Using my wide angle lens and hanging off one of the bridges, I was able to get this shot:

Sam, the guy I was shooting, was a bit more adventurous than I was!

This rock formation looked like a giant dinosaur had put its footprint in it.

Sam was channeling his inner spiderman here:

At the top, one side is graced with an American flag, and the other with this cross.

Yes, I made it to the top!

Here’s a vintage shot of Mt. Rubidoux from the 1920s:

See more Mt. Rubidoux photos at my main website.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Temple Tuesday: Christmas in May

Celebrating Christmas a few months early with one of my latest acquisitions. Shirley posed for a plethora of photos, and the holidays were a crucial part of those publicity shots. Here Shirley is ready to see what’s been left under the tree, circa 1939. Adding a bit of religion to the proceedings, Shirley poses at the altar.

Here are two more earlier Christmas publicity shots from 1935, showing Shirley dressed up as Santa.

Can you imagine this coming down your chimney?

See more Shirley photos at my main website.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Marmont Monday: Castle on Sunset Review

I normally don’t do book reviews on here, but since this one was on the Chateau, I felt an obligation. I REALLY wanted to like this book, as it's about one of my favorite places to stay. I was so excited about its release I even contacted the author, Shawn Levy, as soon as I heard about its upcoming publication. Here was his response:

Funny thing: I came across your site while doing research and would occasionally refer to the images to get a specific detail right. Always meant to drop a note of thanks!

Huh...always meant to...but didn’t get around to it.

He also explained his reason for writing it:

As a book subject, the Chateau kind of fell into my lap. My agent and I were discussing ideas with an editor at Doubleday and he said, "Has anyone written a history of Chateau Marmont?" And while one does exist (the Raymond Sarlot/Fred Basten "Life at the Marmont"; the Andre Balazs "Hotel Hollywood" really isn't a history), it isn't, you know, very good: as journalism, as history, as writing. And once I knew that Sarlot and Basten had left a hole on the bookshelf, Doubleday and I agreed that I should try to fill it.

So how is it? His explanation rings true, as it feels like something that was not really a passion project. Instead, it is not much more than an updated and expanded rehash of the book “Life at the Marmont” by former owner Raymond Sarlot. Instead of hearing background about the celebrities who stayed at the hotel, I would much rather have read some new nuggets about these people WHILE they stayed at the hotel. What you end up with are the same stories you can read in Vanity Fair and other magazines. Looking at the bibliography and reading the acknowledgements, one can easily see that there were very few insider interviews. Lots of articles and books; I would even say a very liberal use of Sarlot’s.

I can understand the difficulty Levy had in getting actual interviews from the Chateau’s staff due to non-disclosure agreements, but without a true insider perspective, there didn't seem to be much purpose in writing the book. I do give Levy kudos on "getting" the allure of The Chateau; he definitely nails its vibe. That’s probably the one positive about the book. I did enjoy learning about a few movies that had been filmed there that I wasn’t aware of, such as 1973’s “Blume in Love” with George Segal and Marsha Mason.

Still, not much of a reason to buy or read it. Levy also admitted that this was not really an authorized book or a project that had the cooperation of the hotel.

The hotel may or may not take kindly to…the book; they offered no cooperation. So you might want to keep your interest in it under your hat until they actually read/see it and realize that it's a celebration and not a scandal sheet.

I would disagree with the last sentence, as the end of the book deals with the well-known Lindsay Lohan stories and finishes up with a big bang: AndrĂ© Balazs’ (the current owner of the Chateau) alleged part in the “Me Too” movement (and not in a positive way) as well as his various romances.

Interestingly enough, most of the glowing reviews on Amazon appear to be from people who received free copies of the book (which obviously did not include me. I paid for mine).

On his Instagram page, Levy has been posting a series of vintage celebs/artists/musicians using the repetitive tag line “So and so were Chateau Marmont.” The idea is to demonstrate the history and vibe of the hotel while pushing sales of the book. The most telling shot is a selfie, which is Levy on the outside of the hotel. This is how the book comes off; someone on the outside wanting to get in but doesn’t quite know how to penetrate the inner circle of knowledge.

Or perhaps didn’t want to take the time and effort to try.

My recommendation? Hunt down Sarlot's account. While it’s an older book, he actually lived it. AND owned it.

See more Chateau Marmont photos at my main website.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Train: The Only Way to Travel!

I am soooooo ready for a three-day weekend, how about you? Let’s enjoy it even more by traveling back in time to the Frontierland Depot, circa April 1960. Naturally I need to include two closeups of the signage at the station. The station is open - YAY!!

Train Tickets. Tickets? At Disneyland? Yes, I had the pleasure of explaining to a young'un the other day about the ticket system at Disneyland. Can you imagine anyone NOT knowing what an “E” ticket was? Don’t forget to mail your postcard home!

I tried to get a look inside the Depot but couldn’t get much detail. I tried!

See more Frontierland Disneyland Railroad photos at my main website.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Market House Interior, April 1960

Vintage interior shots at Disneyland always get me going; this April 1960 Market House image shows guests relaxing and making purchases. It looks very much like an old fashioned market.

This detailed view shows the Red Wagon Inn poster on the back wall. And how about that vintage postcard rack?!?

The poster itself:

This 2000 shot of the Market House shows that the potbelly stove changed at some point over the years.

…and then disappeared in 2013 when Starbucks took over:

See more Market House photos at my main website.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Luckless at the Los Altos

On my recent trip to LA/Hollywood, I drove by the Los Altos Hotel and Apartments. Hidden by trees, unless you know about them you would probably miss them as you drive down Wilshire Boulevard. Built in 1925, this gorgeous building has been off my radar for 11 years. As fate would have it, I was photographing the exterior and the apartment manager happened to be walking his dog. HE LET ME IN THE BUILDING AND GAVE ME A TOUR!!

Hoping lightning would strike twice, I took my time shooting the exterior, hoping lightning would strike twice after my 11 year hiatus.

The open front gate beckoned me in…

Yes, I was still entranced by this place. It’s beautifully vintage courtyard...

the lady in the fountain…


…and my weakness, historic light fixtures.

Unfortunately, lightning did not strike twice in this instance, so I only have some crappy photos I shot back in 2008 which was about 3 cameras ago. Sigh.

Anybody want to let me in?

See more Los Altos photos at my main website.